It projects deviate on many different dimensions. One of the characteristics of and IT project is that it will never finish on schedule at the same time, the longer it takes the more cost incurred. These are the main causes of project failure mentioned in the case study given. There are many other reasons why projects go out of track and fail. A few important reasons are discussed below.
Lack of User Involvement
End users are the most important of all throughout the project. They are the most powerful influencing factor and that power might work for or against of a particular project. End users are the party who will be using the system when the project is finished. The main project deliverables like the system, and manual will be used by the end users.
If these users are not involved in any stage of the project development there is a very positive influence on the project deliverables that it may not meet the user expectations which will result in a failure of the project. Users must be kept close to give meaningful inputs to every phase of requirements gathering. It is not there concern how the system works internally. During all the phases they will be asking questions like How do I use this thing? Does it provide the right tool to complete my tasks?
On the other hand, problems may arise if the users are kept too close to the requirements. If they are given power they may deviate the project into more dangerous situations. Most of the time they do not consider these consequences of they want in the finished project. Users will be comparing how things were done in the past and they would always be done in future. Even consultation is given to the users regarding certain isssues, they might confuse the technical expertise of a consultant with their understanding more than they do about the user's job. A failure is not always the end user's fault. But, because of lack of user involvement in the project, it will fail.
If a meaningful output is not been provided by the project to give answers to those questions, users will not accept the project. Instead they will reject it. They will be complaining about several issues like the system interface designs, data entry errors, unnecessary components etc.
In-efficiency of project managers in Managing Projects
Project Manager (PM) is an individual who manages the project with excellent technical skills and managerial skills. The project manager must have both of these skills to manage the project and the project team members. Effective project managers provide leadership by example, and are decisive with good technical knowledge and are good communicators.
The project manager is the leader and the boss. He has the authority to deal with everything internally with in the project team, and externally with the management, users and stake holders. If any of these parties is neglected during the phases of the project there is high risk that the project will be out of control if anything goes wrong.
The project manager must have strong influence on the people working in the project team. He must be able to solve conflicts between the staffs and ensure that the right person is doing the right job. Doing the right job by the right person will lead to efficiency and the project will go on schedule. If the PM is not able to understand the team members well, than he might assign the wrong person do perform the selected tasks, which will lead to inefficiency as well as the project will be lagging behind the schedule.
The lack of expertise knowledge of the project manager leads the team members into a confused state. To solve a problem and to take necessary corrective actions PM has to give his expertise knowledge by any means. If the PM is not able to take necessary corrective actions with the team members than there will be more problems and conflicts arising which might result in uncontrolled project process and may lead to terminate the project....
References: Why do IT Projects Fail [Online], 10th Feb 2007
URL: < http://allpointsprojects.com/Why_Do_IT_Projects_Fail.html>
Why projects fail? [Online], 10th Feb 2007
URL: < http://www.coleyconsulting.co.uk/failure.htm>
Your mission, should you choose to accept it [Online], 10th Feb 2007
URL: < http://spatialnews.geocomm.com/features/mesa1/>
Simon Wallace 2005, The ePM Book, [Online], 11th Feb 2007
URL: < http://www.epmbook.com/>
Information technology project approval process [Online], 11th Feb 2007
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